By David Poland email@example.com
Friday Estimates by Hungover Klady
The Hangover, Part II is reaping the rewards of a near-perfect marketing campaign that offered audiences, not critics, exactly what they wanted… more of the same. This was the refrain of critics everywhere… which may have made TH:PII one of the most positively influenced by critics openings of the last few years.
And I will say again… WB did the same thing with The Dark Knight. They did a campaign that was very, very similar to the Burton Batman films, of course with the added visual excitement of the elements that Nolan had created. It was the same, but “better.” And if it turned out that many people found the movie to actually be better, great. That’s not what opening weekend is about.
Using the Pirates weekend as a model, Hungover will get close to $130 million for the 5 days and around $98m for the 4 days, making it the 4th biggest Memorial Day weekend in history… technically. This is where the stat parade gets silly, as some movies launched Memorial Day on Thursday and some did not. For me, the opening stat, in the current era of distribution, is always about where a movie landed at the end of their opening weekend. There are advantages and disadvantages to a Wed or Thursday opening. There are always benefits to a holiday weekend with Monday off. But what you get at the end of that first “weekend” is the sampling that is going to push the film forward, keep it in neutral, or slow it down.
For a 5-day opening, at any time, Hangover 2 looks to be #21 or #22. For Memorial Day, Hang Two is well behind Pirates 3 and Indy 4, any way you cut it. And it’s competitive with X-Men 3.
Could it get to $139 million over the 5 day, as “reported” by Deadline? Sure. But I would take that with a grain of salt, as the estimates being sold to C. Nikki by her keepers started with claiming that $10m on Wed midnight was a disappointment, then went wildly low for the weekend, then just low, and are now swinging to what is probably $5 million or more high. At this level of gross, nothing is definitive until the tickers are sold.
In this case, you’re looking at, roughly, a $75m 3-day. So the goal, at minimum is to triple that. But the $130m 3-day… the goal would be just to double that… which is a higher gross goal. $277.4m is the target for the sequel to top the original domestically. $190.2 million is the international on the first film. I think all involved would love to see the domestic number grow, but that is where it has a good chance of coming close or topping it incrementally. But international is where you could surely see this sequel take in $100 million more than the first time around.
The director of the film felt that $85m domestic might be high for the opening weekend. I had predicted $110m. And once again, I was underestimating The Hangover. And I was pretty much the high predictor out there. Can’t win.
Kung-Fu Panda II is getting a little lost of all the excitement over Hangover II. (Note to media: If you thought there was “a slump,” you were myopic. If you think this “ends the slump,” you are an epic moron. It’s the movies, stupid. If you sell people movies they want to see, they will come. The day-n-daters at studios are not done trying to destroy this historic reality, but I expect they will next argue, in the face of a failed Premium VOD launch, that if theatrical survived Just Go With It two months early, they can survive the next crop just 30 days after release. Insanity.)
But with a Thursday launch, Panda 2 is running $4.7 million (or 39%( ahead of the biggest Memorial Day opening animated film in history, Madagascar… and well behind the 2nd weekend of Shrek 2. Point is…they’re doing fine. It’s just not a shocking launch. It will be the biggest animated Memorial Day Weekend opening ever.. should be over $70n if it continues along that Madagascar trajectory.
Btw, all that bull about colleges being out or elementary schools not being out… all spin and excuses.
Pirates 4 dropping 68% Friday-to-Friday is not shocking. What is shocking is that the film is running just barely ahead of Fast Five after 8 days in the domestic market place. Right now, it looks like the film could be #4 or #5 for the summer (not including F5.) Of course, Disney has the foreign on the film, already over $350 million, just short of triple the domestic number. Who knew that Pirates 4 would be Prince of Persia all over again… on a bigger scale?
And a note on the 3D situation with the film. The studio lost about 150 3D venues this week. But more interestingly, it is turning out that the stat of last weekend, reported by Klady, is not screen count, according to Disney, but venue count. I am working on a more complete picture, but so far, the studio seems uninterested in getting into the details, answering specific questions only in the broadest of terms.
At Paramount, both their 3D releases are currently reporting that 69% of their venues are running 3D. Pirates is now in the low 60s.
But what does this actually mean? There are people fighting against 3D and people fighting for it, but the reality of how ubiquitous 3D is… that’s a real blur. Just looking around LA, the balance of 3D showings and non-3D showings on these big 3D films is all over the place. At The Grove, for instance, both Pirates 4 and Panda 2 are on 3 screens each… 2 of which are now in 2D. Thor has 2 screens, one of each. But at Century City’s 15-plex, Panda 2 has 2 screens, one of each, with a couple extra early shows in 2D… Pirates is on 3 screens, one 2D, one 3D, and one FauxMAX… and Thor is now on 1 screen only, in 3D. Meanwhile, at The Arclight Hollywood, no Pirates, and Thor & Panda are running one 2 screens each, split between 2 and 3D. Over the hill, at Universal Citiwalk, Panda is on 4 screens, split evenly between the formats, Thor is on 2, split evenly, and Pirates has an even split between 2D and 3D, plus their real IMAX screen. And in Santa Monica, the combine pair of AMC theaters in the 3rd street promenade are running Thor only in 3D, Panda is running 2-1 in 3D and Pirates is running 2-1 in 2D.
I am going to try to tell the 3D story this summer, movie by movie. But I am not sure how much cooperation I am going to get from the studios. The overall percentages are interesting, but the real story is in the percentage of actual showings they are getting in 3D… even more so, how many available seats they are filling in each of the 2 formats.
There is a double edged sward here. 3D haters might be less enraged if it turns out that the biggest 3D releases are really just being shown in 3D about 40% of the time.. or less. On the other side, the mythology of 3D being ubiquitous in the marketplace is part of the must-go pitch.
More to come on this issue…
Nice hold for Bridesmaids as it chases the $100m domestic mark.
And the Woody Allen, multiplying their screen count by almost 10x, multiplied their Friday gross by about 1.5x. Normal expansion, but not a sign of a big breakout. Only 3 of Allen’s last 10 movies have done more than $5.3 million. The two big ones each grossed $23m domestic and opened wider faster and were already on their way to bigger numbers by now. Scoop, which did just over $10m domestic, also opened faster, but started declining quickly. This film looks to be right in between the smaller films and the bigger ones, over $5m, but under $10m domestic.